AI beats professional players at Super Smash Bros. video game

AI has earned another victory against humans, this time in Nintendo fighting game Super Smash Bros. Melee. A team led by Vlad Firoiu at Massachusetts Institute of Technology trained an AI to play the game using deep learning algorithms and then pitched it against ten highly-ranked players. The AI came out on top against every one of them. Super Smash Bros. is a cult Nintendo series where players battle classic video game characters like Super Mario and Zelda. The aim is to knock out (KO) the opponent by sending them out of bounds. The Super Smash Bros. Melee game was originally released in 2001 for the Nintendo Gamecube console. The game may not be as complex as strategy games like Go, which Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo mastered in 2016, but Firoiu says it poses a different challenge for AI because you can’t work out many moves in advance. “You can’t plan far ahead with Smash like you can with, for example, Go,” he says. “To add to the difficulty, the attacks you perform can be used against you by your opponent.” And unlike many video games AI has already conquered, like Pacman and Space Invaders, Super Smash Bros. is multiplayer, pitting two players against each other.”


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